Caitlyn Jenner Covers Sports Illustrated, Dons Gold Medal

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When Caitlyn Jenner graced the cover of Vanity Fair last April, she officially came out as an icon in the transgender community.

Long before she put on a dress, however, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star was an icon for those in a very different universe.

Caitlyn Jenner Sports Illustrated Cover

In 1976, Jenner (then known as Bruce, of course) won the Gold Medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.

She was featured on boxes of Wheaties. She was featured on the cover of numerous national magazine. She was hailed as the best athlete on the planet.

Oh, yes, long before Jenner got all mixed up in the crazy world of Kim Kardashian and company, the star was a national hero.

Fast forward to 40 years later and Caitlyn is once again featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, this time as the lead story in its Where Are They Now? double issue.

She's wearing her Gold Medal for the occasion.

"It's a picture that brings attention to this issue," Jenner told SI of why she posed with the award four decades after appearing as Bruce on the publication's cover.

"That's the important thing. That's why I wore the medal."

Jenner says she keeps the medal in her nail drawer, on the down low for the most part, but that she used to let her kids take it medal to show and tell in school.

Caitlyn, of course, has left the sporting world far behind, although she does hit the golf course whenever possible.

SI Films has also premiered a 22-minute film online; it takes a look back at Jenner's historic Olympic victory and where she is now.

This is where she was when she broke on to the national scene:

Bruce Jenner Sports Illustrated Cover

At this point, Jenner remains proud of what she accomplished in track and field.

But she has now dedicated her life to a grander cause, to assisting those in the LGBT community gain acceptance.

No, she won't ever become a man again.

She has a mission in front of her as a woman.

"Sports. It's not real life," she told Sports Illustrated.

"You go out there, you work hard, you train your ass off, win the Games. I'm very proud of that part of my life. And it's not like I just want to throw it out. It's part of who I am.

"What I'm dealing with now, this is about who you are as a human being.

"What did I do for the world in 1976, besides maybe getting a few people to exercise a little bit? I didn't make a difference in the world."

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